Mug Zoran was
seated in front of a monitor in the makeshift
command center in New Aldera. He had been staring at
the screen for hours monitoring space traffic that
was coming in and out of the system. For most days
it was uneventful, as the hidden safe world received
very few arrivals to minimize the risk of detection.
His eyes went wide when an unscheduled, unauthorized
blip appeared on the scanners. "Commander, we have
an unidentified contact emerging from hyperspace,"
he shouted, as he leaned back in his chair and
glanced over towards Commander Xergo and Jelena
Rodney. In the back of his mind he was wondering if
they had been discovered and would now have to
evacuate their new home.
Iyah Xergo was
glad to have returned home following an abrupt
meeting with her brother-in-law and his wife. After
all the occurrences on Delaya, it made her feel
uncomfortable to be there for any duration of time.
She feared the Governor capturing her and Mug again.
It had been difficult for him to rescue her before.
If it happened a second time, would it be impossible
to save them? She was standing over the Holotank
with Jelena Rodney, her unexpected niece. "We'll be
able to lend a hand in the planned attacks on Rhire."
She said. She turned as Mug approached her and
Jelena, offering him a smile that quickly faded.
"Are you able to scan the transport?" She asked him.
Their thoughts were headed down the same road: New
Aldera had been compromised.
could react the holotank that dominated the center
of the command center came to life, displaying the
giant blue fur covered head of King
Ebareebaveebeedee. His yellow eyes blinked slightly
as he gazed upon those in assemblage, but he did not
see the one he was looking for. "Greetings, stranger
ones," he declared in a booming voice, accentuated
by the crown he wore upon his head, which was
adorned with what appeared to be a fork. "By terms
of the grand bargain with Princess Callista I, King
Ebareebaveebeedee, Illustrious Chieftain of
Junkyards, am here with my Momship for your trash,"
he declared, before nodding to his crew members to
begin the ship on its descend to the colony.
What came out
of hyperspace was something Iyah could have never
prepared herself for. The holographic image of the
head of the Squib King Ebareebaveebeedee was a total
surprise ... and a welcomed one at the same time.
She had spent time with Melickielickie and
Ewwiekewwieikkie. There was not a vicious bone in
their bodies. Though Iyah did not know exactly *who*
this was, she felt that they weren't here to hurt
her. Maybe it was a crazed Squib hobo? "H-Hello."
She said awkwardly, trying to find her footing with
the Squib who was clearly off his rocker. As he
brought up Callista and declared who he was, a story
that her overly excited daughter had told her came
to mind. She said she had met the King of Squibs and
told him *all* about her home. Iyah blinked, looking
over her shoulder at Mug. "Uh... Thank you, King
Ebareebaveebeedee. The Princess will meet with you
when you land." Iyah stepped away from the holotank.
"That was a fork on his crown, wasn't it..?" She
took his hand, leading him out of the command
center. Callista was spending her afternoon with
Kat, who she had now decided to call 'Auntie Kat'.
Iyah thought it would be good for her after the
trauma she had endured. "Is this a good idea..? You
know how we feel about royalty."
was equally confused, as she was well aware of the
Squib King due to her adopted sister
Ewwiekewwieikkie, but she and the other Rebel
leaders were concerned that the King now knew about
New Alderaan. When she heard the name 'Princess
Callista' it all suddenly made success, and she
lowered her forehead into the palm of her hand. By
the time she raised her head, Mug and Iyah were
gone, and she was quick to rush out of the command
center after them. "Commander, what exactly did your
daughter agree to?" she asked, as she was concerned
about the Squibs possibly getting upset and giving
away New Alderaan's location. As she stepped out
into the daylight she could see the Squib momship
already making its descent. "I have a bad feeling
about this..." she confided in them, as she began
remembering some of the lessons of Squib culture she
had learned from Ewwiekewwieikkie.
Mug could not
believe that his daughter had negotiated with the
King of the Squibs, and stood speechless during his
greeting, and still had not uttered a word by the
time Iyah had led him out of the room.
"Unfortunately, we adopted a royal watcher," he
reminded his wife, with a broad smile. "Apparently
the King was not able to understand that Callista is
only a make believe Princess," he said, as he began
walking towards their house. He stopped when Jelena,
his niece, caught up to them, and looked at her with
a sheepish grin. "I'm not sure what she agreed to.
We're going to go and try and find out now," he
informed her, as he brought his left hand up to the
back of his head.
did love her celebrities. She somehow kept up with
the going ons with Marcus and Zara simply because
she loved them so much. The little girl had been
disappointed that she missed out on the last trip to
Delaya, mostly because she wanted to invite the
twins to come to Auntie Maeland with her. Iyah came
to a stop, looking at Jelena. "We'll do what we can
the make the best of this delicate situation. I
won't let the location of New Aldera become
exposed." She said. Iyah had a bad feeling too, but
the Squib King had already arrived. Chasing him off
the planet wouldn't be wise. She continued moving
towards their home. "I remember Callista said that
King Ebareebaveebeedee was very nice. Maybe he'll be
reasonable..?" She moved through the front door.
Callista was seated at the kitchen table. She had
set up her plastic tea set at the table. There were
tiny cups filled with nothing. The bright pink
plates each had a single cookie on it. One seat was
occupied by Callista, another by Kat, and another by
Callista's gigantic bantha plush. "Auntie Kat, will
you please pass the teapot?" She asked, grasping the
small cup in her fingers. She brought it to her lips
and pretended to sip the last remaining drops of
imaginary tea. In her excitement over the tea party,
she had dressed up Kat in a bonnet and a purple boa
like she had seen someone wear at her aunt and
Hanson had found a second life for herself on New
Alderaan, which it turned out was much like her
original career. On Alderaan, and later Delaya, as a
member of the Alderaan Guard she was tasked with
defending members of the House of Rodney. Now, in a
sense, she was continuing that duty as young
Callista was the adopted granddaughter of the late
Duke Julius of Delaya. "Yes, of course," she said,
as she reached for the toy tea pot. Daintily, she
poured the imaginary contents into Callista's cup.
Her attention shifted for a moment when she heard
some commotion in the camp, prompting her to put the
teapot down and move towards the window. She
adjusted the purple boa as she peered through the
blinds seeing a lot of movement in the streets and
what seemed to be a very strange ship landing.
As the Thirfy
landed on the outskirts of New Aldera the ramp began
to lower and a flood of Squibs began to exit the
ship, who began running around the camp to grab hold
of everything that looked like trash. Unfortunately,
New Aldera was being built with used, second hand,
and refurbished parts that made *everything* look
like trash. When the initial wave of excitement was
over King Ebareebaveebeedee descended the ramp and
began to inspect the camp, flanked by his honor
guard. His yellow eyes went wide as he took
everything in, fascinated by what appeared to be a
city made up entirely of trash. "Hmm. Princess
Callista is rich and powerful. We strike a bargain,"
he said to one of his guards, as he began walking
about, randomly picking up everything he could get
his paws on.
milady!" Callista squeaked once her cup was filled
with imaginary tea. She happily brought it back to
her lips for a second sip. Beneath the table, her
legs moved back and forth. It didn't phase her when
Kat stood up because she was already busy giving her
bantha more tea. The sound of the door opening made
her perk up. "Mama! Daddy!" A second later, Callista
stood at the door in front of her parents. She tried
to wrap them both up in her arms.
house, people were beginning to panic. Iyah realized
they needed to quickly solve this problem. The
people of Delaya and Alderaan had been through
enough. "Callista." She smiled, embracing her
daughter. "It seems your friend King
Ebareebaveebeedee has come to make good on your
deal." Iyah sank into a low squat. "Callista, what
kind of deal did you make with him?"
girl's eyes widened when she heard the *King* was
there. "*Oooh King Eba*... Ebar... *Ebbie*!" It
didn't matter how many times she had heard her aunt
and uncle pronounce the name, it never stuck with
her. She paused, bringing a hand up to her chin to
scratch it. The trip to Skor II had been so
exciting, then going to Auntie Maeland had been even
more exciting. All the details hadn't made it to her
parents. "Umm. Mommy, I told him he could have our
trash. He wanted it really bad!" She explained.
"And...and ... we don't use trash, but they do! They
make big, big hugeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee buildings out
of it!" She spread her arms out wide.
went wide when he heard Callista say that the Squibs
could have all their trash. While he had limited
exposure to Squibs outside of Ewwiekewwieikkie, he
had a firm understanding that their definition of
trash was much different than the Squibs. He turned,
looking out the window and seeing Squibs running
everywhere. "Oh no. Iyah," he said, as he reached
out to her, grasping at her arm for support. "And
what did you get in return?" he asked Callista,
hoping that perhaps there might be a silver lining
to this potential catastrophe.
had grown up with a Squib that while technically was
an older sister was mentally younger. She felt she
could handle this, but as she began to move towards
where the King had landed she realized she could
not. Ewwiekewwieikkie was but one Squib, but now it
seemed as if there were a dozen Squibs running
around grabbing anything and everything. Even things
that were bolted down they were prying off and
grabbing. The community she had worked so hard to
build and see come to life was being ransacked ...
but not by the Empire ... but the Squibs. She
reached down to her comm, desperate for help.
"Commander Xergo, we need the ... uh ... Princess
... to speak to the King before we're all living in
tents," she said, in an incredibly panicked voice,
as she moved towards the King.
Iyah was going
to need to have a long conversation with her
daughter about making arrangements with
royalty...especially Squib royalty. She gulped,
imagining the Squibs carrying off every shiny,
metallic object on the planet. She clung to Mug,
feeling like they both might need to sit down.
"W-We'll figure it out..." She didn't sound
confident. One Squib was difficult to handle. Now
there was a whole ship of them on New Aldera! "We
may need all the ice cream in Auntie Mae's to fix
this problem." She whispered to her husband.
Jelena's desperate voice on her comm made her feel
all the more anxious. She plucked her comm from her
uniform. "I've got her. We're coming!" She turned
around. "C'mon, Princess. We've gotta go say hello
to your friend.
The small girl
climbed aboard her mother's back. "Ummm... I can't
remember, Daddy. Sorry..." Her eyes sunk as she
began to worry that she was in trouble. Jelena
sounded unhappy too. Her arms wrapped around her
mama's neck, and off they went. "Bye Auntie Kat...
I'll be back." She promised before the door closed
behind them. She was carried towards where the
Thrifty was docked. "Wow! Lookit all the Ewwies and
Melickies!" She said, pointing towards a Squib in
the process of removing a shiny arm from a droid.
Ebareebaveebeedee murmured as he spied Callista
arriving riding on the back of Iyah. "Princess
Callista," he said, staring at her, while scratching
at his chin. "I see you have a slave to ride. I
bargain one hat to ride this one," he said, as he
moved towards Mug and began poking him to inspect
his potential prize. "There is indeed much trash.
You are very rich. We take it all," he informed her,
before turning towards his guard. "Now, for your
goods," he said, before clapping his hands. Moments
later two of the guards came forward with a large
chest. They opened it, dumping the contents on the
floor. It was a ton of miniature statues of Grand
Moff Rodney, the latest Big Time Hero of
Beyond-Squib Eliteness. "Grand bargain," he said, as
he winked at Callista, and gave her a thumbs up.
waved at the King. "Hiii." Callista didn't
understand what the word 'slave' met. The little
girl giggled when he talked about riding her father.
"You're so silly! That's my daddy and this is my
mama! Daddy, can you give King Ebbie a piggy back
ride? They are so fun!" Callista's eyes went wide
when she saw all of the miniature statues of her
uncle. She let out a happy laugh. "Ooh, mama! Can we
send one to Auntie Sierra? She was bargaining for
one. Can I use one for my tea parties? She had no
idea what she had done. Callista was as kind hearted
as they came. She was happy to see King
She couldn't be mad at her daughter over the mishap.
It was all a big misunderstanding. She carefully
placed Callista down on the ground. Why did the
Squib King have so many statues of Claudius..? Iyah
decided not to ask. "King Ebareebaveebeedee, it's an
honor to meet you. There seems to have been a
misunderstanding between you and my daughter. My
daughter isn't a real Princess." She said quietly as
to not hurt Callista's feelings. "Callista wanted to
share our trash with you...the kind of trash that we
aren't using." She said, pointing to a Squib who was
attempting to dismantle a house. "Maybe we can work
out a new deal..." She didn't know if candy and ice
cream would work on the King like they did on
Ebareebaveebeedee listened to what Iyah had to say,
but he did not believe her. Instead, he raised his
paw and pointed at the tiara on top of Callista's
head. "Nice try, stranger one," he said, before
dismissing Iyah. "I have a crown. I am a King," he
informed Iyah, as he nodded his head. "She has a
crown. She is a Princess," he declared, as he
thought about what was going on here. "A
renbargaining... Hmm..." he said, as he brought his
paw to his chin and began to process things. "I see.
You want more Rodney heads?" he asked, as his yellow
eyes went wide and he moved towards Mug. Walking
behind the man, he reached up to grab him by the
back and began attempting to ascend him.
Unfortunately, as his feet attempted to use the
waistband of his pants to give himself a boost, he
resulted in knocking the man's pants down to the
ground. "Oof," he said, as he fell back to the
ground, dusting himself off. "Broken," he muttered,
as his guards rushed to his side to pick him back
had been speechless, completely aghast by the sight
that was unfolding in front of her. "Your Majesty,
as the leader of this community, such negotiations
need to be approved by me," she said, pleading with
him, but any attempt to dissuade him was quickly
silenced by the arrival of a mountain of miniature
statues of her father's head. "Oh dear," she said,
as she looked down upon them, as the last thing the
Rebels of New Alderaan needed was another reminder
that she was the daughter of an Imperial Grand Moff.
She brought her hands up to cover her face and
shield her embarrassment, before looking towards
Callista between the fingers of her hands. What a
mess, she thought to herself, as the Squibs began
making a 'trash' pile in the center of the camp.
Unfortunately, everything was an essential component
of the camp.
listening to the conversation above her as much as
possible. She saw that the King was taking apart
people's homes. While she didn't often think of
Tarkintown, she still remembered it. Everyone had
been living in tents. It had been really horrible.
Callista had been so sad until her parents showed
up. She wanted to make everything better for her
parents...and Jelena too. Matters only became worse
when King Ebareebaveebeedee tried to climb her
father, which made him lose his pants. "Ohno!
Daddy!" She squeaked, trying to help him out with
his pants like he helped her out with her leggings
beneath her dress. She stepped forward to the King,
adjusting the crown on her head. The sun gleamed,
making it sparkle in the light. "K-King Ebbie." She
said, grasping at his clothing and yanking on it
gently. "Will you please stop taking apart our
houses? Lots of people worked hard to make the
houses. Evil people made the planet where I lived
disappear. I didn't have a house for a long time."
She explained to him, sliding her little hand in
his. "Please stop. You can come have tea with me,
okay? I'll share my cookies with you."
Ebareebaveebeedee listened to Callista, and when she
was finished he let out a long, slow growl. "Put
back! Put back!" he said to the Squibs, before
exhaling in a deep sigh. "Hmm..." he said, as he
brought his paw to his chin again. "I will have tea
and cookies," he informed her, as he summoned his
honor guard. With his escort in place he began
moving towards Callista's house. Meanwhile, the
Squibs began begrudgingly returning the items they
took from the camp. This was not a good bargain at
all, they included.
Mug had been
temporarily pantsed by the overzealous King, but
with some help from Callista he managed to dress
himself again. Fortunately, it seemed that Callista
knew just what to say to deescalate the situation
and return the camp to its previous state ...
mostly. He began moving with his wife, Callista, and
the Squib entourage to his homestead which would
apparently play home to a summit with the King of
the Squib Polyanarchy. "I hope these aren't
imaginary cookies," he whispered to Iyah, as he
wondered what kind of *real* refreshments they could
offer the King and his staff.
Iyah felt so
embarrassed. She wasn't sure how to fix the Squib
mess other than to call for Ewwiekewwieikkie to help
in sorting things out. That was one statement she
never thought would cross her mind. "Me too... She's
doing a good job. Let's hope she can make a good
deal with them." Iyah kissed Mug's cheek. "I'm sorry
he pantsed you. I hope that we can laugh all this
off within a few weeks." She smiled. The
deconstruction of New Alderaan had stopped for now,
which set Iyah at ease. There would be more attacks
that pulled them away from New Alderaan. She needed
to leave knowing there weren't a herd of Squib ready
to rip everything apart.
arrived at the cupcake house, Callista was more than
happy to be a good hostess. She ushered King
Ebareebaveebeedee into her home and even pulled his
chair out for him at the table. She sat him beside
her large bantha plush, then darted towards the
refrigerator to collect a bottle of blue milk. She
set it on the table. She left a final time to grab a
package of cookies which her mother had brought home
for her. Callista sat in her chair. She did her best
to pour blue milk into the small teacups for her and
the King, but inevitably spilled. When each had
milk, she began distributing cookies onto the tiny,
pink plates. She sat across from the King, smiling.
"Hihi. Ummm.." She thought about what Auntie Zara
might do. "Y-You can still have our trash, but the
kind of stuff we *aren't* using." She specified to
him. "Like this." She wiggled off of her seat,
darting over to the garbage can. From it, she pulled
out a piece of crumpled aluminum foil. The sun
caught it, making it shine. "Like this!" She ran
back to show him. "You should go see my auntie and
uncle on Delaya. Their planet is big. They have
stuff that people don't use anymore too. My uncle is
a Rodney too!" She explained, accidently pushing
Zara and Marcus in front of the speeder bus.
Ebareebaveebeedee stood in front of the house,
examining it for a moment before stepping inside.
"...and you said she was not a Princess. Hah," he
scoffed at Iyah, as he stood in awe of the most
beautiful house he had ever seen. When he returned
to Metrobig City he would need to bargain with his
engineers to build him something similar, but
larger. He sat down at the table, surrounded by
plushes, as he waited for the promised cookies. "Om
nom nom," he mumbled, before grabbing all of the
cookies and begin to force them into his mouth,
causing crumbs to fly everywhere. He gasped when he
saw the aluminum foil, rising from his chair and
scrambling over towards her. "Mine! Mine! Mine!" he
declared, before snatching it from her, and wrapping
both of his arms around her. "Yes. We take this. We
give you statues to honor your hero uncle," he said,
as he began to jump up and down. "A big trash
planet?" he asked, as he listened about Delaya.
"Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Where?" he asked, as he leaned in,
his yellow eyes going even wider. Callista was at it
Ebareebaveebeedee made Callista giggle so much! He
was very silly! It reminded her of her bestest
friend in the whole wide world. She gave him a big
squeeze while bouncing in his arms. "Yay!!!" She
really liked the statues of her uncle, not realizing
that the citizens of New Aldera would not feel as
excited as she. "Delaya!" She squeaked, suddenly
stopping. "I... I don't know how to get there. My
auntie and uncle have *really* big crowns. They are
even bigger than mine." She continuing explaining
excitedly. "They are trying to clean up their planet
by making the skies pretty. They gotta make the
ground pretty too." She released the King to shove a
cookie in her own face. She ate it in a fashion
alike to what he had.
paws were crinkling the aluminum foil, causing it to
reflect the light in a multitude of ways. He had
become mesmerized, and was on the verge of becoming
hypnotized. It was not until the young girl began
mentioning big crowns that he began to listen again.
Ebareebaveebeedee was getting excited by this news,
so much so that his arms began to shake. "We will go
to this Delaya and bargain for their treasure," he
said, as he began to formulate a plan that would
lead to the ultimate bargain. "Hmm. Hmm. Hmm," he
murmured, sending an opportunity to strengthen his
hand. "*You* will bargain for the Squibs!" he
declared, pointing at Callista proudly. "I appoint
you ambassador," he said, with a firm nod of his
head, before returning to play with his aluminum
foil. He felt with Princess Callista representing
him these Delayans would give twice as much for half
Callista began to dance around the King. Unlike her
parents, she loved Delaya. She wanted to go play
with Marcus, Zara, and her young cousins. "Yay! Yay!
Yay! Mommy, did you hear him?! I'm an
ambassassassdor!" She tackled her mother. "Just like
Uncle Claudius! Auntie Zara and Uncle Marcus will be
so happy to see us! I bet they miss us!" She
snuggled Iyah excitedly. She didn't understand what
she had gotten herself into...
mother did. Iyah saw that King Ebareebaveebeedee was
not going to be swayed now that Callista had
directed his attention on Delaya. She hoped that
Marcus and Zara had something to offer him. She
squeezed her little Princess. "I'm proud of you,
Callista. You did a good job saving New Aldera." She
ran her fingers through her daughter's lengthy brown
hair. Iyah's chin turned towards Mug. They had
*just* been on Delaya discussing the possibility of
what they could do for the planet. The conversation
had been cut short. Maybe it was time to finish it.
As the chaos
around New Aldera began to subside Jelena Rodney was
left alone in the center of the camp with a thousand
miniature copies of the statue of her estranged
father. Alone, she crouched down and picked up one
of them, examining in silently, as she studied the
features of his face. It was hard to reconcile the
fact that this man was both a leader of the
villainous Empire that had destroyed Alderaan and
caused untold suffering to billions, and the father
who had taken in Ewwiekewwieikkie during the last
war. There seemed to be no black and white in the
war she found herself on the other side of her
father in. As she began to scoop the statues back
into the crate the Squibs had left behind she looked
around. "Uh. Little help?" she asked, but none came,
and she was left there to place each and every one
back in the crate ... alone.